Jewelry expresses individuality. It can also be used to commemorate special occasions — engagement rings are particularly esteemed. The age-old tradition of giving someone an engagement ring dates back to 1477. But as with any other piece of jewelry, these rings are subject to wear and tear over time. The good news is that you can always have them repaired at a jewelry shop. Here are a few questions you might want to ask to find the right jewelry repair professional.
Which Jewelry Repair Services Do You Offer?
Some shops only sell jewelry and don’t offer repair services. Ask about the type of ring repair services they offer to ensure they can restore your ring to perfection. A good jeweler restores the ring to its original luster, color, and appearance just as the rest of the piece.
As such, no hammering, cutting, soldering, or other tool marks should be visible. The most common type of repair done on rings is prong repair. Prongs wear out after prolonged use, which may cause the gemstone to loosen. Activities that require a lot of hands-on action like gardening can also affect prong strength. Prongs may be replaced or re-tipped, depending on the severity of the wear and tear they’ve suffered. Other types of jewelry repair you might need include:
- Ring cleaning, epoxy finishing, and refinishing
- Pearl restringing
- Ring engraving
- Clasp repair
- Rhodium and gold plating
- Gold link rebuilding
Are Your Technicians Qualified?
Be sure to ask if your technicians have any certifications in handling jewelry repair. A technician who has a nationally recognized certification from an organization like the Bench Professional Certification Program shows they’re well-versed in jewelry or watch repair. In addition, ask about the type of affiliations they’ve had within the industry and how many years of experience they have. Experience is a good sign of the quality of work too. Don’t shy away from researching several jewelers in the area to find out what they offer. Customer reviews also come in handy as customers provide honest opinions about their experience with the professional.
How Long will Repairs Take?
Your technician should provide a specific time frame after assessing the extent of repair required. Many jewelry repair shops provide reasonable time frames. Small repairs, for example, may take ten minutes while others may take up to ten days. It also depends on whether the professional is repairing the ring in-store or shipping it for off-site repairs. Another factor that may prolong the repair time is if your technician is using machinery or working by hand. If the latter, you may need to wait a little longer.
Will My Jewelry Be Sent Out for Repairs?
Most jewelry stores hardly repair rings or other jewelry in-house. This means whether you’re shipping or dropping your beautiful jewelry where you bought it, they’ll be sending it off to another location. The exercise increases the repair price and the waiting time. Since jewelry sent out is at a greater risk of getting damaged or lost, ask about the measures taken to avoid further damage. An honest jeweler takes time to show you the unique characteristics of your piece before and after the repair.
With these questions, you can find a reliable jewelry repair technician. Don’t shy away from asking questions. It may make all the difference in the world when it comes to restoring your precious jewelry.